Election 2021: The Rent Control Questions (Minneapolis and Saint Paul)

Rent control / rent stabilization is on the ballot in both cities this fall. In Minneapolis, they’re seeking permission to write a rent control ordinance. In St. Paul, there’s a specific proposal.

In Minneapolis, it’s City Question 3 and reads as follows:

CITY QUESTION 3 (Minneapolis)

Authorizing City Council to Enact Rent Control Ordinance

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis, with the general nature of the amendments being indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

Explanatory Note:
This amendment would:
1. Authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis by ordinance.
2. Provide that an ordinance regulating rents on private residential property could be enacted in two different and independent ways:
a. The City Council may enact the ordinance.
b. The City Council may refer the ordinance as a ballot question to be decided by the voters for approval at an election. If more than half of the votes cast on the ballot question are in favor of its adoption, the ordinance would take effect 30 days after the election, or at such other time as provided in the ordinance.

In Saint Paul, it’s City Question 1 (it’s the only city question on the ballot) and reads as follows:

CITY QUESTION 1 (St. Paul)

Whether To Adopt a Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Should the City adopt the proposed Ordinance limiting rent increases? The Ordinance limits residential rent increases to no more than 3% in a 12-month period, regardless of whether there is a change of occupancy. The Ordinance also directs the City to create a process for landlords to request an exception to the 3% limit based on the right to a reasonable return on investment. A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of limiting rent increases. A “no” vote is a vote against limiting rent increases.

tl;dr — I would vote yes in Minneapolis, but I’m going to vote no in St. Paul.

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Election 2021: Minneapolis Park Board, District 4

Having not merely gone down a rabbit hole but temporarily moved into a rabbit warren of Park Board meetings while researching District 3, I feel very prepared to just whip through this one. Let’s see how fast I can get it done.

On the ballot:

Jono Cowgill
Elizabeth Shaffer

A note: Elizabeth Shaffer is running for Park Board District 4, and Barb Schlaefer is running for Park Board District 6, and I’ve seen a number of people stumble over the Shaffer/Schlaefer similarity. There are two separate people, and only the last names are particularly similar.

tl;dr vote for Jono.

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Election 2020: Minneapolis City Questions 1 and 2

Minneapolis is voting on two questions that would amend the city charter. Neither is a question about policing, because the charter commission decided that as an un-elected body they were under no obligation to act in accordance with the wishes of the citizenry and didn’t put any questions about policing on the ballot. I bet that some of the charter commission members read my blog, and so before going onward to talk about the amendments that are on the ballot, I would just like to take this opportunity to say to them: why, hello there, fuck 10 out of the 15 of you

The questions on the ballot read as follows.

CITY QUESTION 1 (Minneapolis)
Redistricting of Wards and Park Districts

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to allow ward and park district boundaries to be reestablished in a year ending in 1 and to allow the use of those new boundaries for elections in that same year; to allow ward and park district boundaries to be modified after the legislature has been redistricted to establish City precinct boundaries; to provide that an election for a Council Member office required by Minnesota law in a year ending in 2 or 3 after a redistricting shall be for a single 2-year term; and to clarify that a regular election means a regular general election?

CITY QUESTION 2 (Minneapolis)
Special Municipal Elections
Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to comply with Minnesota election law related to uniform dates for special municipal elections and to provide that a special election be held on a legal election day under Minnesota law that is more than 90 days from a vacancy in the office of Mayor or Council Member?

You can vote yes or no. The two questions are voted on separately (and although they are both about elections, they’re unrelated.)

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Election 2020: Primary Sample Ballot & Uncle Hugo’s Fundraiser

MINNEAPOLIS WARD 6 CITY COUNCIL (NOT A PRIMARY)

  1. Abdirizak Bihi
  2. Saciido Shaie
  3. Alex PalaciosAlthough I have not re-visited this one and Saciido Shaie did not register a campaign committee and Abdirizak Bihi did not file a campaign finance report. The candidates who were actually following the rules on that were Alex Palacios, Jamal Osman, and AJ Awed. Despite him having not initially made my top three, I might switch to AJ Awed at this point if I lived in the district.

MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOL BOARD

At-Large — Michael Dueñes
District 4 — Adriana Cerillo but possibly Mims in the general, undecided

US SENATE

Tina Smith, but if you want a further-to-the-left option in the primary you can vote for Paula Overby. If you’re voting in the Republican party primary for some reason, totally vote for Bob “Again” Carney.

US HOUSE

CD 4 — Betty McCollum
CD 5 — Ilhan Omar

MN SENATE

59 — Bobby Joe Champion
62 — Omar Fateh
65 — Laverne McCartney Knighton

MN HOUSE

59B — Esther Agbaje
63A — Jim Davnie
63B — Emma Greenman
66B — Athena Hollins
67A — Couldn’t decide, both candidates look awesome ETA TO ADD: a comment on my post says that Murphy actually dropped out, so Thompson it is.

FYI, I spent July mostly focused on revising my novel, CHAOS ON CATNET, which is turned into my editor and incidentally available for pre-order on Amazon. This meant I didn’t get some of these write-ups done in time to be useful, unfortunately. But also, these days I usually try to run some sort of fundraiser and I didn’t have the bandwidth to think about what to point people to.

But, a couple of days ago I got an update on the Save Uncle Hugo’s fundraiser, which included some updates from owner Don Blyly. I’ve been meaning to write about this in more detail, because Don has always been unusually forthcoming about the ups and downs of owning a small business, and the stuff he’s run into just trying to get basic stuff like a demolition permit (his store was burned to the ground but he will need to pay someone to scoop out and haul the rubble, for which he needs a permit) has been nightmarish, the kind of absolute bullshit that makes me want to scream, “does the city of Minneapolis want to transform the Lake Street corridor into a mix of checks-cashed-here places and chain stores? Is that their goal?” (It’s not just Don running into this; Ruhel Islam, the owner of Gandhi Mahal, has spoken about some of the obstacles too.)

Anyway: Uncle Hugo’s is one of my favorite stores on the planet, so much so that in my fictional Future Minneapolis in Chaos on CatNet (which takes place approximately 10 years in the future), I gave them a beautiful new storefront on Lake Street with a sculpture of a rocket ship on the front of the building. I think Don wants to rebuild if he possibly can. I would encourage my so-enthusiastic-they-wish-to-send-money-somewhere readers to please contribute to the Uncle Hugo’s rebuilding fund or buy one of their t-shirts or sweatshirts. You can also, as it happens, order a signed copy of Catfishing on CatNet from him — he’s running a mail-order business from his house at the moment.

Election 2020: MN House 59B Primary

This is the seat currently held by Raymond Dehn, the progressive favorite mayoral candidate back in 2017. On the ballot:

Raymond Dehn (incumbent)
Esther Agbaje (endorsed by the DFL)
Isaiah Whitmore

Lisa Neal-Delgado, a Green, will be running in the general election. (I mention this just in case you’ve seen her name and are wondering why she’s not getting discussed!)

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